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Untitled - Chapter 1
“Alex!’ My uncle yells up the stairs “Get up!”
Great. I hate getting up. It’s nine in the morning on a Sunday and I have to drag my butt out of bed. But there’s no way I’m messing with my uncles rule “Up and ready ten minutes after I call or I won’t let you up all day."
I know it sounds nice but he really won’t let you up until five in the evening. Not even to pee. I only ever broke the rule once.
I jump out of bed, pull on a tank top and shorts, brush my hair, brush my teeth and take a quick look in the mirror. Short brown hair that barely touches my shoulders and emerald green eyes behind my bangs. Almost time for a hair cut I guess.
“Two minutes to spare!” Uncle Tim yells from the kitchen as I walk down the steps.
I stop half way down to lean over the banister and yell back “I really hate that rule!”
“Got you up didn’t it!?” he says as I finish my way down the stairs.
As I head for the kitchen for a late breakfast an arrow comes flying through the closed window and I catch it inches from my face. Thank for those lessons Uncle Tim. Ashlee’s trying Archery, her aims a little… off. Sorry Uncle Tim but THAT’S a wake up call.
I’m lucky I’m so fast because in the time I did that Aunt Rose just had time to look up from her desk in the living room. She’s working on spring designs for her Magazine.
“Ashlee!” I scream through the jagged remains of the window. “Aim for the target not the house!”
“Sorry! My Bad!”
“Yeah your bad! Turn the target away from the house!”
I’m starting to calm down at this point and start laughing. That just makes her yell louder.
“No! It won’t happen again! Have a little faith.”
Yes it will happen again, but I keep that thought in. The laughing already put her in a bad mood. Aunt Rose ignores this because it’s not very unusual.
Aunt rose is a short, red haired woman with bright blue eyes. She’s nice but worries a lot.
I finally manage to get to the kitchen alive. Is it bad that’s an accomplishment? Uncle Tim’s sitting at the island in the white, stainless steel applianced, kitchen drinking coffee and reading the Sunday Paper. Picturesque if you ask me.
He looks surprisingly calm, as if Ashlee didn’t almost just kill me. Uncle Tim is a tall, brown haired, brown eyed man.
“The windows broken again” I tell him making the annoyance obvious in my voice.
“Just put plastic on it for now” He replies “There’s no need fixing it four times a week. Nice catch by the way.”
“… Umm, Thanks?”
Money isn’t a problem for this family; we just get tired of fixing the window so much so we let it sit through a few more arrows first. Aunt Rose is a fashion designer for a magazine and Uncle Tim Raises, Breeds, and Houses horses. There are always people around here visiting or training their horses.
I sit down and eat cereal. Uncle Tim keeps peeking at me over his paper.
“What?” I ask.
“I think you need to train more.”
I almost choke. “What? Knives?”
“Yeah, I think you’d be good at it”
“Fine. Could be an interesting thing to know.”
It might actually be a pretty cool thing to know how to do.
“When do you want to teach me?” Now I want to know how.
“Later. I’m going to finish the paper and my coffee. Then I have to find something. Meet me by the porch at noon”
Alright. To bored to wait inside. I’ll go out and try to help Ash, if she’ll let me.
“Umm, Ash? Do you need some help?” I have to ask because the way she’s holding the bow is completely off.
“No. I can do it.” She sounds like she’s trying to compress her frustration.
“Okay. Try not to hit the house.”
“I won’t!” There’s the frustration!
“Just saying, your aims a tad off.”
“You’re not helping!”
“You didn’t want me too.” Don’t laugh; I tell myself, it’ll only make her angry.
“Yeah…Well, but do- Don’t make it worse!”
Ash is trying to learn Archery.I don't really know why or care, as long as it's something she wants to do. I think she’d be real good if she’d let me help.But of course she has to do it on her own.
Actually I’ve always admired her independent nature.
Ashlee has really long brown hair and bright blue eyes. Anyone could tell she was Tim and Rose’s daughter.
Oh well. I’ll find something else to do until noon. Spacing out near a girl with sharp objects and absolutely no control might not be healthy. Actually, it seems quite fatal.
Turns out I’m too anxious to do anything. So I’m just lying on the porch. It’s 11:45 when Uncle Tim comes out with a black leather belt in his hands. There are black handled knives with red rubies on the handle. The knives themselves look like black crosses in there cases which are all tied to the belt.
“Here.” He carefully takes off one of the knives and tosses it to me. The case of the knife isn’t as soft as it looks but it’s very pretty.
“Take it out and throw it at the porch railing.” He tells me. I’m confused. I’ve never even held a knife outside the kitchen. How am I supposed to throw one? But I do as he says. I take it out and pull back. “Not like that.” He tells me.
“Hold it by the blade.”
“Umm. That doesn’t seem like a good idea.”
“You won’t get cut, just do it.”
So I do. It goes spinning but hits the railing butt first.
“Don’t make it spin as much, you have good aim but you’ll need to work on speed and control.” I know he sounds like a bad teacher but he just gets down to the point. He doesn’t praise when you do a bad job just to make you feel good. And that’s the exact reason I like his teaching style.
He’ll only say ‘good job’ when your technique is perfect.
I do it again.
“That’s the right way.” He says “But keep practicing on your speed and control. Strength is a big part of it. I’ll be back in a few hours to see how you’re doing.”
He only gave me one knife out of that fancy black belt so I have to keep going to get it. I don’t mind though. I practice for hours until he comes back.
“How’s it going?”
I throw the knife at the spot he tells me to and nail it. He keeps pointing and I keep throwing. Out of Ten throws I only miss three.
“That’s good but not perfect.
It’s time to eat. Keep that knife and practice more tomorrow after school.”